I grew up watching John McClane and Martin Riggs with wide-eyed adoration. So I’ve always known that a Beretta 92 and I were meant to be. But close encounters of the ergonomic and ballistic kind proved a let down; I really didn’t dig the pistol in its stock form. Back in March, 1911-makers Wilson Combat announced they were producing aftermarket parts for the Beretta 92/96 series of pistols. Both the gun and my childhood fascination were born again. Slowly but surely, I’ll be bringing you reviews of all of these parts as my Beretta 92A1 transforms. First up: the Wilson Combat Reduced Power Hammer Spring 16# or as most people simply call it, a “D” spring . . .
For those that don’t know, the Beretta typically comes setup as a DA/SA pistol with the slide-mounted safety serving as a decocker as well. The double action pull in this standard setup is very smooth – but heavy enough to require Herculean strength to activate. There’s always been a fix; Beretta makes a D model 92 that’s double action only. This model has a reduced power hammer spring that makes the trigger pull much lighter.
It wasn’t long before people started swapping out their heavy springs for D springs. Many different companies are now selling them, including Wilson Combat. It should be noted that Wilson Combat also sells a 13 lb. version of this spring which they specifically state should be used for competition only. The 16 lb. version used in this review is suitable for carry.
I tossed the spring into my cart with the other parts I was buying because for $6.95, why the hell not? The spring comes in the typical small zip lock bag with a Wilson Combat emblem proudly proclaiming what you’ve bought. There are no instructions for this part and (spoiler alert) none of the other parts come with them either. Luckily we live in 2014 and YouTube provides us with a wealth of information. The spring is also the easiest part by far to install and unless you’re seriously and horribly mechanically disinclined, you don’t need to pay someone to do it for you.
After making sure your pistol is clear, simply field strip it and remove the grips. Utilizing a roll pin punch, you then remove the roll pin that’s keeping your lanyard cap in the gun. At this point you remove your punch carefully and keep a hold of the cap so that it doesn’t go flying across the room at warp speed.
Remove the old spring from the hammer strut and put the new one in its place. Now simply utilize your third hand to keep tension on the lanyard cap while hammering your roll pin back in. Easy right? This last step is a definite pain in the ass, but doable if you get creative with your work bench or kitchen table.
Once installed, the spring provides a very noticeable difference in trigger pull weight. I measured the stock Beretta 92’s trigger pull at 11.3 lbs. for double-action, 6.6 lbs. for single action. Once modified with the “D” spring, the Beretta’s double action trigger breaks at nine lbs. for double action, 5.6 lbs. for single action. The reduction in weight definitely leads to smoother pull that’s dramatically different during dry firing, and out on the range.
With the original stock spring there was obvious movement of the front sight when pulling the trigger in DA mode. With the Wilson Combat spring installed there’s little to no movement. Basically it comes down to this; if you only ever make one mod to your Beretta, this should be the one. It’s cheap, effective and can be done in under 15 minutes within the confines of your own home. Next, keep your eyes peeled for a review of Wilson Combat’s Short Reach Trigger.
Wilson Combat Beretta 92/96 Reduced Power Hammer Spring
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ease of Installation * * * *
Getting the new spring in can be a challenge, but this is still one of the easiest action parts I’ve ever installed.
Feel and Function * * * * *
It drastically improves everything about the stock trigger and therefore functions exactly as it’s supposed to.
Overall * * * * *
Easily the quickest, most efficient way to improve your trigger. If you own a Beretta 92 or 96 and you don’t have this installed then you’re just plain wrong.